5 ways a Chiropractor can help with hip bursitis

Home » 5 ways a Chiropractor can help with hip bursitis

Are you dealing with hip pain? You might be surprised to learn that chiropractic adjustments can help. Many people think of chiropractors as only being able to help with back pain, but that’s not the whole story.

Chiropractors are trained to work with you on a wide variety of issues, and hip bursitis is one of them. Keep reading to learn exactly how!

Can a chiropractor help with hip bursitis?

Yes, a chiropractor can help with hip bursitis. This condition is often caused by repetitive movements or excessive pressure at the hip joint, leading to inflammation and irritation of the bursa. Chiropractic treatment corrects those misalignments in the spine, pelvis, hip, and knees that are generating friction in the wrong areas, causing hip bursitis.

Along with physical examination, a chiro looks at your daily habits and posture to prevent bursitis from re-occurring.

Can a chiropractor tell if you have bursitis?

Yes, a chiropractor can help diagnose hip bursitis through examination and medical history, as it is a common presentation to a chiropractor’s office. They may also refer you for imaging tests (usually ultrasound at first, but possibly MRI in difficult cases) to confirm the source of your hip pain.

trochanteric hip bursitis ultrasound
trochanteric hip bursitis ultrasound

What Is Hip Bursitis?

It’s important to understand that hip bursitis is a symptom of biomechanical stress, which gives more clarity to how chiros can get you up and running after hip bursitis.

Bursae are small fluid-filled sacs that act as cushions between bones and tissues. They help reduce friction at the ‘pointy bits’ in our body, e.g tendons rubbing against each other. There are several bursae located around the hip joint. When these bursae become inflamed, it’s called bursitis. Hip bursitis is a relatively common condition that can cause a lot of pain and discomfort.

hip bursa locations
Locations of hip bursae. Source: Orthoinfo.aaos.org

Common causes of hip bursitis include repetitive movements (such as running or squatting), direct trauma to the hip, and poor posture or biomechanics. A common one we see in practice regularly is trochanteric bursitis, for which the most common symptom is pain outside the thigh, on the hard bit of your leg near the pocket.

As a regular part of aging, our muscles and tendons can become slightly weaker and thinner, irritating bursae. That’s why keeping fit and strong into older age is a must. Think of your bursae as canaries in the mine for older adults- letting you know if things have gone wrong with your joints and muscles, and core stability.

Bursitis FAQ

Will bursitis go away on its own?

In some cases, bursitis may go away on its own. However, the underlying issue causing the inflammation is likely to still be present. This means the bursitis will come back if action isn’t taken to correct this issue – especially if your bursitis arose for no particular reason. You will need the underlying physical stress removed or corrected.

Time and again I find that treating the most restricted parts of the body, and associated connective tissue like fascia, helps with many types of bursitis. For example, treating the TFL muscle in the hip area to reduce tension on the iliotibial band, has positive impacts on knee pain on the affected side.

Is my hip pain bursitis, or something else?

Hip pain can be caused by other conditions, such as:

A chiropractor will work with you to properly diagnose the source of your pain and create a treatment plan accordingly.

Does massage help bursitis in the hip?

Massage will provide temporary relief for bursitis pain. It can be used to reduce muscle spasms and tightness in the tissues surrounding the bursa, like the muscles. But it does not address the root cause of the inflammation. The key is to correct biomechanical stressors and improve your range of motion to prevent hip bursitis from reoccurring.

How Can Chiropractors Help?

Now that you know a little bit more about hip bursitis, let’s talk about how chiropractors can help. Chiropractic care is a non-invasive, drug-free treatment option for many conditions, including hip bursitis. Methods include:

1. Manual adjustments and soft tissue therapy: Chiropractors use specific techniques to correct misalignments in the spine and other joints, including the hip joint. This helps reduce inflammation and irritation of your bursae.

2. Corrective exercises: Your chiropractor may also prescribe certain exercises to improve your biomechanics and prevent future flare-ups of the affected area.

hip bursitis chiro exercise

3. Lifestyle and ergonomic advice: Your chiropractor may also offer lifestyle recommendations, such as changes to your daily routine and posture, to help manage hip bursitis.

4. Nutritional guidance: Your chiropractor may also suggest certain dietary changes or supplements to support healing and decrease inflammation.

5. Referrals: In some cases, your chiropractor may refer you to other healthcare professionals for additional treatment and/or pain relief.

So if you’re dealing with hip pain, don’t hesitate to seek help from a chiropractor. They can offer effective, non-invasive treatment for hip bursitis and other conditions causing hip pain. It’s at least a great place to start!

Alternatives to Chiropractic for hip bursitis

There are several alternative treatment options that you can explore:

  • Physical therapy, for instance, can help to improve range of motion and strengthen the muscles around the joint.
  • Massage therapy may also be beneficial for surrounding soft tissues.
  • In some cases, prescription medications may be necessary to control symptoms. These include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and corticosteroids. Cortisone injection to the bursa is an effective temporary measure to control inflammation.
  • If conservative treatments are unsuccessful, surgery may be necessary to remove the bursa sac. However, this is typically only recommended as a last resort.


Hip bursitis is a painful condition that can make it difficult to perform everyday activities. If you’re dealing with hip pain, consider making an appointment with a chiropractor for a personalized treatment plan.

If you’re unsure, just leave us a comment below.

Routine chiropractic care from an experienced chiropractor is a safe, effective treatment option for many conditions, including hip bursitis. Manual adjustments and exercises recommended by a trained professional can help take pressure off of the inflamed bursa, and provide relief from hip pain and discomfort.

Home » 5 ways a Chiropractor can help with hip bursitis

Author Bio

Dr Jason Whealing headshot

Dr. Jason Whealing is a Chiropractor with extensive experience across the UK and Australia. He is passionate about family care and injury management. The cases Jason works with daily include back pain, neck pain, jaw pain, sciatica, knee pain, shoulder pain, headaches and migraine.

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2 thoughts on “5 ways a Chiropractor can help with hip bursitis”

  1. I’ve had bursitis in both hips for over 2 years. I do not respond to cortisone injections, and have been doing physical therapy, including deep needling, for most of that time. I would like to try chiropractic, but haven’t had much luck finding a good chiropractor in my area of New Hampshire. The last one I went to just did the usual adjustments, didn’t really spend much time trying to go after the bursitis specifically. I’d like to find one who really understands bursitis in the hips.

    • Have you had any success yet? It can be hard finding someone to really focus in on the area you’re concerned about. I find that hip bursitis (if indeed it’s the correct diagnosis) does wonderfully when the hips and spine are balanced from structural correction. Footwear always needs to be assessed too. Avoid flat shoes as a rule so your posture has better support. I have a few great Exercise Physiologists in my area that can work on strengthening glutes and core, so maybe look at that avenue too.


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